Most people will tell you that aloe vera plants are the easiest houseplant to take care of, but this can actually often be deceiving. If placed in the right environment, aloe veras will thrive without much care. However, sometimes the smallest mistakes can mean it is game-over. The main causes why your aloe vera might be turning brown or wilting are overwatering, drainage issues, cold temperatures and leaf burn.
If you notice that your aloe vera’s leaves are turning brown and mushy, it is most likely due to overwatering. This is actually the most common reason why aloe vera will die, sometimes it is difficult to just leave your plants alone, we don’t want to feel as though we are neglecting them but sometimes too much love is harmful! Aloe vera don’t need to be watered very often, we go for once every 10-14 days in summer and even less in winter. They prefer dry soil so it is better to steer on the cautious side when watering.
Overwatering can very quickly lead to root rot which is very harmful to your aloe. Not only does it cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown, but it will also mean that the plant is unable to take up water or nutrients meaning your plant may begin to die pretty quickly. If you think that you may have overwatered your aloe vera it is best to replace the soil straight away rather than just sit and wait for it to dry up over time.
Make sure to check the moisture in the soil before you water your aloe vera. There are two really easy ways to make sure that it definitely needs water. First check the moisture at the top of the soil, if it is still damp then wait at least a week before watering. You can also lift up your aloe plant to check the weight of the plant before and after watering. You will then start to be able to gauge how heavy the soil is when it is in need of water.
Your watering schedule should change throughout the year depending on the growing seasons. Aloe vera really don’t need much water at all during autumn and winter, once a month should be plenty!
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Sometimes it may not be your watering schedule that is killing your aloe vera, but the poor draining of the soil and pot. You can very easily increase the amount of drainage in your aloe soil by mixing in a small amount of perlite, this will make it far easier for water to flow through and out of the drainage holes of your pots (you should also check to make sure your pots have drainage holes). Another easy step is to add a few small stones or pebbles to bottom of your pots, this helps in making sure that the drainage holes are never blocked by soil or any loose debris.
Although clay or terracotta pots can be a little bit more expensive or breakable, their upsides are much more than just the aesthetic. The clay they’re made of is permeable which means that some of the water in your soil can evaporate through the sides of the pot. This isn’t the case for the plastic pots that most use, which instead hold in all of that moisture. So sometimes it is worth investing a little more to make sure that the roots of your aloe vera are not sitting in too much moisture.
Needs a warmer environment
Cold temperatures and drafts can also be very harmful to your aloe vera. Make sure your aloe is not placed near doors or windows that may be drafty. Even though the temperature of your home may be perfect for your aloe and it is receiving a lot of sunlight, the drafts coming in from outside may be colder and harm your aloe’s health. You can always pick up a digital thermometer to keep track of the different temperatures in your home.
If your aloe vera’s leaves are turning brown, it may also be because it is getting too much direct sunlight. This can cause the leaves to burn, from which they will not be able to recover.
Aloe vera plants do like areas with bright light, but it needs to be indirect. South-facing windows can give your aloe too much direct light so try moving them to a different window. You need to also watch out a little more in summer when the sun is a lot stronger for more of the day. It is best to move your plants a little further away from the window in warmer months to avoid any leaf burn.
Aloe veras can be a little sensitive to their surroundings and are by no means the ‘easiest’ houseplant. Whilst overwatering is usually the main issue, it is important to go through the list and double-check nothing else is causing your aloe vera to get brown leaves or wilt. Once you have found the perfect spot for your aloe, and get into a good watering routine, you should have no problems keeping it alive!